Former Australian cricketer Brett Lee’s love of Indian pop culture was born when he was travelling in an auto and heard A R Rahman’s ‘Muqabala’.
“I was squashed in the back of a tuk tuk with my kit bag and I was going to train when I heard Muqabala. It is the first Indian song I listened to. I found it a pretty cool song and I wanted it,” said Lee. ‘Tuk tuk’ is what is called auto in Bengaluru.
The cricketer, who has recorded a single titled ‘You’re the One For Me’ with Asha Bhosle, is a singer and guitarist. Born to a pianist-mother, he is part of rock band Six & Out with his brother Shane Lee and other cricketers. “I love music and I would be devastated if somebody took my music away from me,” he said during a visit to the Deccan Herald office in Bengaluru on Monday.
Lee is visiting the city after a gap of three years. The fast bowler is now in town as the global ambassador of Cochlear to raise awareness about universal newborn hearing screening.
“It is always nice to be in this city. It is a beautiful city and I always like to come here. Whenever I come for sports I only go from the hotel to the ground and back. But now it is nice because I get to go out and meet so many people,” he said.
During his visit he has also met government officials to seek support for his campaign.
“We need the awareness and funding in Karnataka to reach the level where Kerala is because they are number one in this. We need to ensure that the right people in the right places are getting the message. After my meeting, the officials have made a commitment they will try their absolute best to make sure it happens,” he added.
Lee got interested in the cause when his son lost his hearing after a fall at the age of four. “At the time I did a lot of research on the Internet on the subject. Thankfully his hearing came back naturally within a few months and he did not need any surgery,” he said.
In 2015, Lee had acted in an Indo-Australian film UnIndian. Speaking on his acting, Lee said, “I am pretty busy currently with the commentary and this cause, so acting is currently on the backburner. But it is fun and I enjoy doing it.”
Film: Humse hai Muqabala (Kadhalan in Tamil)
Year: 1999 (Tamil- 1994)
Composer: AR Rahman
Singer: Mano, Swarnalatha
Second-fastest bowler in the world and fastest bowler to take 300 ODI wickets achieving it in 171 ODI matches.
Second highest wicket taker for Australia in ODIs with 380 wickets.